On Feb. 6, 1952, Britain’s King George VI died at Sandringham House in Norfolk, England; he was succeeded as monarch by his elder daughter, who became Queen Elizabeth II.
On this date:
In 1778, the United States won official recognition from France with the signing of a Treaty of Alliance in Paris.
In 1788, Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1899, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain was ratified by the U.S. Senate.
In 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, was born in Tampico, Ill.
In 1922, Cardinal Archille Ratti was elected pope; he took the name Pius XI.
In 1933, the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the so-called “lame duck” amendment, was proclaimed in effect by Secretary of State Henry Stimson.
In 1943, a Los Angeles jury acquitted actor Errol Flynn of three counts of statutory rape.
In 1959, the United States successfully test-fired for the first time a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile from Cape Canaveral.
In 1973, Dixy Lee Ray was appointed by President Richard Nixon to be the first woman to head the Atomic Energy Commission.
In 1992, 16 people were killed when a C-130 military transport plane crashed in Evansville, Ind.
In 1994, actor Joseph Cotten died in Los Angeles at age 88.
In 1998, President Bill Clinton signed a bill changing the name of Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Pop music star Falco, who’d had a 1986 hit with “Rock Me Amadeus,” died in a traffic accident in the Dominican Republic; he was 40.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush appointed a bipartisan commission to examine intelligence on Iraq’s weapons. (In a scathing 600-page report released in March 2005, the commission called the spy community “dead wrong on almost all of its prewar judgments” about Iraqi weaponry.) A suicide bomber set off an explosion that ripped through a Moscow subway car during rush hour, killing 41 people. Auto mechanic Joseph P. Smith was charged with kidnapping and murder after authorities in Sarasota, Fla., found the body of 11-year-old Carlie Brucia, whose abduction had been captured by a carwash surveillance camera. (Smith was later convicted and sentenced to death.)
Five years ago: Key senators and the White House reached tentative agreement on an economic stimulus measure at the heart of President Barack Obama’s recovery plan. Federal health officials said Peanut Corp. of America, a Georgia peanut processor, had knowingly shipped salmonella-laced products as far back as 2007. Death claimed actors James Whitmore at age 87 and Philip Carey at age 83.
One year ago: The U.S. Postal Service proposed eliminating Saturday mail delivery, an announcement that immediately drew protests from some lawmakers. At least nine people were killed by a tsunami that smashed into villages in the Solomon Islands, flattening dozens of homes in the South Pacific island chain. Toy maker Hasbro Inc. announced that Monopoly fans had voted online to add a cat token to the board game, replacing the iron.
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